After implementing new technology during the August special election in Pettis County, Clerk Nick La Strada has been asked to help implement the tech in another state.
The new poll pads launched in Pettis County in August, the first county in Missouri to do so. La Strada said an election authority from St. Louis watched the Pettis election to see how the tech works before implementing it in their county.
La Strada was then asked a few weeks ago by vendor KnowInk to help with the November election in Allen County, Ohio, since he is an election authority already familiar with the process. The county has a population of about 105,000, more than double the population of Pettis County.
“I’m excited to go out and do that,” La Strada said. “It’s an honor to even go see a process in such a high profile state for electoral college for the upcoming election.”
La Strada said he’s nervous but excited about assisting in Ohio, and is looking forward to learning more about the election process in a different state.
Pettis County will not be hosting an election in November, allowing La Strada to easily spend a few days in Ohio to assist with the KnowInk technology. He said KnowInk is already in several states, and the company is working to implement across Ohio.
“It’s an honor, and No. 2, for a small county like Pettis County to even be called out was touching,” he said. “It just shows we’re moving into the next generation of voting, we’re moving into the efficiency of voting and we’re on task to make it efficient for the voters here in our county and it’s moving to the other states as well. It’s a good thing for our county to be recognized and asked to monitor this election.”
Since states operate under differing voting laws, La Strada said he has been doing his homework and studying up on Ohio voting laws. While he will mostly be handling the KnowInk software in Allen County, he wanted to be prepared just in case he is needed to help out in other ways.
“I will monitor all the equipment as the process is moving, I’m asked to make sure it’s running efficiently,” La Strada said. “I’m the monitor if there’s any type of issues, make sure I log it and let KnowInk know if there is any issue. Mainly what it is, is keeping a log at each of these precincts and locations I’m at to let them know to make the software better.”
The poll pads allow poll workers to check-in voters with their driver’s license or voter registration card, and if a voter shows up to the wrong location, the worker can send directions to the voter’s smartphone. Election authorities can watch how many voters have checked in, and even monitor each iPad’s battery life. Poll workers can also use the software as a messaging system with the election authority.
It is meant to make the election process easier and more efficient for poll workers and voters.
“When you see it being started in small counties and moving to bigger counties, you know it’s good stuff,” La Strada said.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-826-1000 ext. 1482 or @NicoleRCooke.